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The heart of Brockport athletics– Susan Hoffman retires after 34 years

Susan Hoffman; Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics Flickr

After a distinguished 34 years, Susan Hoffman’s career as Associate Director of Athletics at SUNY Brockport has come to an end. Hoffman brought an unwavering passion and dedication to Brockport’s athletic programs. She changed the lives of numerous students and coaches, and her genuine support will remain unmatched in the years to come.  

Hoffman’s heart has been set on sports since a young age. She wanted to become a physical education teacher, as well as play sports in college, which led her to SUNY Cortland for her undergraduate degree.  

“I was very lucky to play four years of softball and two years of soccer at Cortland,” Hoffman said. “I was on the National Championship Women’s Soccer team my freshman year. Back then there were no divisions in the NCAA, so we played [schools such as] Brown, UCLA, and Dartmouth.” 

While completing her student-teaching requirements her junior year of school, Hoffman realized she no longer wanted to pursue a career in physical education.  

“I could not understand why a student would not want to play [or participate], nor how they couldn’t do a forward roll. I was doing forward rolls before I was one,” Hoffman said. “I knew I had some great skills developed from being a student-athlete and wanted to use them in the sports administration field, and I wanted to work in the college setting. When I completed my student teaching, I focused my senior year taking courses that would be good for my administrative career.” 

Hoffman went on to The Ohio State University for her master’s degree. She coached junior and varsity girls’ soccer and tried to get as much experience as she could. 

Susan Hoffman on Hoffman Day; Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics Flickr

In the fall of 1987, Hoffman started work at Brockport as a facility manager. She did everything from arranging officials and travel for away contests, to handling ticket sales and event management.  

“My father sent me an ad from the newspaper about the position at SUNY Brockport. I applied, was interviewed, and hired over the fourth of July weekend,” Hoffman said. “My goal was to be here three-five years and then move on to another position. I guess in dog years I was right on target.” 

After several years of experience, Hoffman was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director and then eventually Associate Athletic Director. She also took on the roles of NCAA Compliance Officer and Student Athlete Advisory Committee [SAAC] advisor.  

“I was lucky to teach a golf class for a couple of semesters as well as work with our freshman student-athletes in their GEP course,” Hoffman said. “I loved working with the students; I loved seeing a young freshman student realize what they wanted to be when they grew up. Working with the SAAC group was so rewarding. These student-athletes are leaders on the teams. They have a passion for progress, and I learned so much from them.” 

Over 34 years Hoffman’s made so many wonderful memories. There’s been undefeated seasons, conference champions and national championships, but for her, the most memorable experiences revolve around her student-athletes and colleagues.  

“I was very lucky to work with some wonderful people,” Hoffman said. “The coaches’ and staffs’ commitment to the students, and their passion for their jobs kept me at Brockport. There was never a boring day. I loved watching our student-athletes and coaches perform, and I cherished the relationships I developed with them. I loved being part of the excitement of each team’s wins and sharing in their losses. The best memories are the interactions I have had with the student-athletes. The SAAC Bears and Blankets project and the Senior Student-Athlete Luncheon are two of my favorite annual events.” 

Hoffman always made the extra effort to support all of SUNY Brockport’s student-athletes. She not only recognizes the time and effort they put in, but she also makes sure they know it’s recognized. 

“I know there are a lot of student-athletes that do not have anyone in the stands cheering for them, I try to fill that void,” Hoffman said. “I know how hard our student-athletes and coaches work and it is an honor to watch them show off their hard work. Regardless of the result, it is important that their work is recognized.” 

As much as Hoffman loves being there for her student-athletes, they might love her being there for them even more.  

Luke Lodini, Football, Senior: 

“Susan has been helpful from the second I transferred here. She taught me how to do things the right way, and to be the best student-athlete I can be. She was always a great supporter of the football team, and I look forward to still seeing her at our games.” 

Erin Wegrzyn, Women’s Lacrosse, Junior: 

“Coming to Brockport as a freshman, I immediately felt a sense of community within the athletic department, which was led by Susan. She went to great lengths to provide a positive experience for every student-athlete and has always been an advocate for mental health and diversity within the athletic department. Being a part of the end of Susan’s career has taught me how important it is to be passionate about the things you care about. She is known in the Brockport community as dependable, helpful and kind. No matter what, any student-athlete could go to Susan for help or support.” 

Wilson Wong, Men’s Soccer, Fifth Year: 

“Susan was one of the first people to welcome me at Brockport when I first arrived as a freshman. She always made me feel at home here and helped make being a student-athlete so enjoyable.” 

Susan Hoffman watches a sports practice; Photo Credit: Brockport Athletics Flickr

Ben Wineburg, Brockport’s men’s lacrosse coach, came to Brockport in 2000, and he couldn’t speak more highly of the 21 years he spent working with Hoffman.  

“Susan is a great teacher,” Wineburg said. “She leads by example and taught me early on that a good supervisor rolls up their sleeves and gets to it…No one cared more about the Brockport student-athletes than Susan Hoffman. Even as a Cortland State grad, Susan cherished wearing the green and gold. She’s strongminded, kind, thoughtful and a hard worker. These are the characteristics that set her apart from many back then, and still today. I could talk for days about her. I owe her a lot. As good as an administrator as she was, she is a better person. It has been a privilege and certainly an honor to work with and to know Susan Hoffman.” 

Though she may not be working at SUNY Brockport anymore, students and staff can still expect to see Hoffman in the stands cheering on her fellow Golden Eagles. Hoffman’s dedication to the athletic department has built the culture of SUNY Brockport athletics, and she will be truly missed. 

“The past 34 years have flown by,” Hoffman said. “I have asked the incoming student-athletes – ‘What will your legacy be?’ I hope when my name is uttered that I will be remembered as someone with compassion, integrity, and respect. Someone that was reliable, always gave 100 % and put the student-athlete first. I look forward to spending time with my family and coming and watching my student-athletes compete. I can honestly say I have no regrets, and I love my Golden Eagle family.” 

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